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Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e)
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Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class (5e)

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Unearthed Arcana Update

Over the past few months, we’ve delivered a stream of new content via the Unearthed Arcana column. Some of that content will show up in future products. Other pieces, having been found lacking by the open playtest process, will drop from our development plans. A few things will follow a third path.

The subclasses we’ve created have fallen into two categories. Some have proven to have mechanics or story concepts that players have embraced. These subclasses have moved on to deeper design and editing passes and further playtesting. We’ll have news soon about where they might turn up next.

Other subclasses were not embraced. Some had mechanics that were dull or confusing. Others’ concepts were too niche, stepped on the toes of other classes, or just didn’t resonate. Our plan is to either redesign these subclasses from the ground up in a future design cycle or push them aside in favor of new concepts.

We have already rereleased a few subclasses for further comment. You’ll see a few more revised subclasses in the June installment of Unearthed Arcana.

We feel confident that the Unearthed Arcana process gives us the feedback needed to develop a subclass into something worthy of publication and official status. Complete new character classes are a different story.

We debuted two new classes via Unearthed Arcana, the mystic and the artificer. Both have received positive feedback, to the point that we are going to commit more time and energy to refining them for official publication. However, the process for completing a new class requires more resources than a subclass. Here is our plan for completing these classes.

Starting today, we are adding both the mystic and artificer to the DM’s Guild. They are both resources you can use to create your own material to share and sell on the Guild. We are also going to release additional surveys to delve deeper into the classes and identify headaches. Between watching the design work done on the DM’s Guild and monitoring feedback data, we’ll continue to revise these two classes.

Once the classes have robust sets of features and options that are hitting the approval levels we aim for, we will make those classes available for playtesting in the D&D Adventurers League. This step indicates that the new class is slated for official release as part of a D&D product. This step’s goal is to put the classes through the same rigorous testing and DM feedback that the core fifth edition classes received during their open playtests.

Once that step is complete, we’ll add these classes to a future D&D product. We can’t predict how long each step will take, so we don’t have dates to share. We remain committed to releasing material only when it is ready.

Thanks for taking part in the Unearthed Arcana playtests and helping us to make 5e the best game it can be. Your efforts have helped D&D reach heights of popularity and success it has not seen in decades. We’re committed to building on that success by including you in the game’s evolution. Thanks for coming along on this journey with us!

Unearthed Arcana: The Mystic Class

This version of the mystic character class was originally released as part of the Unearthed Arcana web series. This download is the latest version of the character class. The mystic is in playtest. It has been made available so that you can use it in your games and provide feedback on its design.

The mystic is the master of psionics, the power of the mind. This versatile character commands a wide variety of talents, such as a psychic blast to hammer enemies or the ability to teleport by twisting and bending space.

 
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Reviews (22)
Discussions (36)
Customer avatar
Michael H August 06, 2017 9:09 pm UTC
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Is anyone else bothered by the fact that there are six archetypes, but only five get powers to use? The Soul Knife at 20th level has 71 psp's to use for one ability that lasts for 10 minutes at a time. They get no disciplines, that makes no sense at all. It is a wasted resource, you might as well make psp's and discipline progression specific to each Order. Ive just started really looking at this class (spent most of my time looking into the Artificer, and that has it's own problems) and that is just one of many problems. I think that scrapping three of the six Orders and really tightening down those would be better. After those work, then expand it to another three...but not the wu-je why are they psionic?
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Tanya A August 08, 2017 2:30 am UTC
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What do you mean? The Soul Knife only has 2 less disciplines than the other archetypes. They have plenty of things to spend their PP on.
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Joel H August 08, 2017 3:56 am UTC
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Like Tanya said, the Soul Knife gets the same discipline progression as every other archetype; they just miss out on the 2 bonus disciplines at 1st level. Soul Knives choose 1 discipline at level 1 (other archetypes choose 3; at least 2 of which must be from their Order) and will have 8 disciplines by level 18 (others will have 10).

I think all of the orders have their own flair and their core concepts are encapsulated in their disciplines. Of all of them, I think Order of the Nomad is the only one that I'm pretty "meh" about. And although Wu-Jen have traditionally been arcane casters, I think they saw the class mechanics they were constructing for the mystic and thought it would be a good fit for the Wu-Jen as an element manipulator and blaster, which fits them quite well. I'm currently playing a Wu-Jen mystic in a game and I don't really play him as a psion so much as a character with an innate affinity and ability to manipulate raw elemental forces.
Customer avatar
July 28, 2017 9:10 pm UTC
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I dislike the Psychic Assault Awakened Discipline's Psionic Blast Feature. You literally just do damage, no attack roll, no save, they just take it, and it does 1d8 per psi point spent. That can do a lot of damage scaled up, at 9th level you could do 7d8 which is unfair for something that can't fail. Not many monsters resist psychic, so you're getting free damage with little to no mitigation.
Customer avatar
West B July 30, 2017 10:51 pm UTC
It's basically a slightly better magic missile
Customer avatar
Joel H July 31, 2017 5:56 pm UTC
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We can use the Wu Jen arcane dabbler feature as a guideline for comparing psi points to spell slots. Magic missile is superior at lower levels (cast as a 1st or 2nd level spell) but is overtaken in damage by psychic assault at 3rd level (5 psi points) and beyond. It also has the benefit of potentially targeting multiple enemies. That said, I think MM is rarely going to be the best option for the use of a 3rd or higher level spell slot. You're going to have access to many effects that hit multiple targets and/or deal similar or better damage, even if the target makes their save. MM just scales terribly.
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Joel H July 10, 2017 4:57 pm UTC
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I finally had the opportunity to play my elemental bending Mystic (Wu Jen with Mastery of Fire, Air, and Weather to begin with) in a couple of sessions and I've run into an issue with the Whirlwind power from Mastery of Weather. It think, as written, it is possibly the most effective offensive power available for 2 psi points. The power creates a 20' radius area that deals 1d6 bludgeoning to those who fail a strength saving throw and, more importantly, allows you to move those who fail to unoccupied space within the sphere. It occurred to me at some point before our first session that spheres are 3 dimensional and, as written, this power seems to allow you to hurl people into the air. Depending on the area on the ground that you want to affect, you could throw people 20-35' into the air (depending on the height of the point of origin), meaning that a failed save results in 3d6-4d6 damage and the prone condition. Additionally, heavy objects such as tables or stones could be positioned above opponents so that...See more
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Alister L July 10, 2017 10:06 pm UTC
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No. A "space" just means a square or a hex on the board or, alternatively, a 5x5 area in your imagination. The flaw in your reasoning is that, while spheres are indeed 3 dimensional, spaces are not. As per rules, spaces are just an area on a 2D plane so any ability that moves creatures to a new space only moves them horizontally. In a nutshell, spaces have no bearing on vertical positioning and thus Whirlwind cannot change the height of creatures or objects. A creature on the ground stays on the ground, a creature hovering at 20 ft will stay hovering at 20 ft.
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Joel H July 12, 2017 4:44 am UTC
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My DM and I discussed it and we both agreed that, as written, the spell seems to allow for vertical movement. However, we decided to only allow for "horizontal" repositioning, i.e. you can't lift enemies or objects off of the ground.

Alister, as far as the rules are concerned, a space is simply the area a creature occupies or, in this case, could potentially occupy.
"spaces are just an area on a 2D plane" - True, the PHB only discusses "space" as being a 2 dimensional area controlled by a creature.
"so any ability that moves creatures to a new space only moves them horizontally" - That isn't stated anywhere in the PHB or in Sage Advice or any other official material, as far as I can tell.

I tried looking for Sage Advice regarding using Misty Step to teleport vertically, because Misty Step uses the "unoccupied space" wording, but came up empty handed. Then I remembered the Monk's Shadow Step power and there is a question and...See more
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Alister L July 12, 2017 1:15 pm UTC
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I just checked out that SA and you're totally right, my bad. I'd just assumed that offensive abilities doing that would be too strong otherwise. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
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Joel H July 24, 2017 4:07 pm UTC
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I posed the question on twitter to Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford. Mike Mearls responded that he didn't believe the intention of the power is to allow for throwing people up into the air, so the way that my DM and I agreed to use the power seems to be what was intended.
Customer avatar
Thomas M August 02, 2017 7:01 pm UTC
The Wu Jen I am DM'ing for included himself in the sphere, took the damage and used it to move himself to the roof of building while moving his attackers to the ground. It was very, very effective and cool.
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Joel H August 08, 2017 4:00 am UTC
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@Thomas M, I've recognized that same potential in the power though I haven't had the opportunity to use it yet. In our game we were exploring a goblin cave/abandoned mine and the party members were crossing a rather old and treacherous rope bridge. I readied an action to use whirlwind should any of them fall to "catch" them and deposit them on the edge of the ravine. It turned out not to be needed, but I think the power is an incredible tool to have in my belt.
Customer avatar
June 30, 2017 12:17 pm UTC
I have a question concerning the class that I hope someone can help with.
The Nomadic Mind discipline has the ability to locate creature even on different planes of existance. My question is, if the creature that the mystic is searching for is dead would the mystic sense the body of the creature with this ability or the soul of the creature?
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Joel H June 30, 2017 7:22 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I think that'd be up to the discretion of the DM. As a DM, I'd go with whatever is the most interesting for the narrative. I think it'd be very interesting if the party is tracking down the Big Bad only to discover he's already been turned into a corpse by someone worse.

My main concern with this particular power is that it doesn't specify anything about how familiar you need to be with the target. Is a name enough? Do you have to have seen them before? Could it be as simple as "I want to locate the creature that killed this person?" This is potentially game and narrative breaking for such a low-cost power.
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Alister L July 02, 2017 3:52 pm UTC
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The way my group has been playing is simply that
1. You have to know who you are tracking (ie. "I want to find Valonar of Thay" and not "I want to find the wizard with red robes and markings on his head")
2. You are allowed to track it's soul. This means that if it has died it will almost always be in a different plane unless the soul is trapped in something like a Ring of Mind Shielding or a Night Hag's bag (We started playing this way during a quest where we had to intercept a Night Hag before she reached Hades with the soul)
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Joel H June 27, 2017 4:59 pm UTC
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Some order-specific comments and suggestions, some of which have been mentioned by others:

Order of the Avatar:
Avatar of healing, while powerful, is only usable when with the use of a psionic discipline that belongs to another order. Either some healing abilities need to be rolled into one or, preferably, several Avatar orders or psionic restoration should be an Avatar order.

Order of the Immortal:
Psionic Resilience is rather silly at lower levels, as the psion will be getting 3 or 4 temporary hp per round very early in the game. Some degree of scaling independent of intelligence score might be preferable, such that it starts at 2 and scales to 5 or 6 by level 20.

Order of the Nomad:
Superior Teleportation adding just 10' of extra teleport distance is pretty lackluster at level 6, especially when you look at what teleportation abilities are available. This should be replaced with something else.

Order of the Soul Knife:
Martial weapon...See more
Customer avatar
Kevin R June 27, 2017 6:06 am UTC
PURCHASER
Excellent, I am so excited to playtest this. I can already tell that the Immortal needs work, it lacks the weapon/armor profs it needs and is much too MAD. The Soul Knife is like a psychic wolverine, I hope they end up allowing players to change the appearance of it.

After some playtesting at a homebrew, some of the powers are OP. Overall though, excellent.
Customer avatar
George L June 25, 2017 10:25 pm UTC
PURCHASER
So I've had more time to play the Mystic and I really enjoy these Psionic classes. There are some more balance issues that I think they need to work on however. I recommend checking out the Psionic Handbook, which adds a number of these balances including the following:

1) Mystic Recovery is now based on Mystic Orders. Thus making those Disciplines more valuable and giving players a reason to use them more often.
2) They moved some of the Disciplines into the Order of the Soul Knife, so they too can heal via Mystic Recovery.
3) The Soul Knife ability now functions similarly to the Warlock's Pact of the Blade, allowing the Soul Knife to take different forms (for flavor), but the damage remains at 1d8 no matter the form. It also allows players to merge magic items into their Soul Blades, so players have a reason to continue using them at higher levels when they would be otherwise be better off using found magic weapons.
4) They dropped the level 14 ability Phantom Attack, which completely...See more
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Joel H June 23, 2017 10:25 pm UTC
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I'm posting this here because DMs Guild seems to now be the official way to give feedback on the Mystic to WotC.

I feel compelled to chime into the discussion for the mere fact that there seems to be so much hate for the Wu Jen and the elemental disciplines (particularly Mastery of Fire). The Wu Jen has always been an elemental caster type and I love that they saw this iteration of the Mystic/Psion as a set of mechanics to realize that concept. I don't want to see this order or the elemental disciplines removed; I think they're fine. If you don't want to play a psion with elemental powers, don't pick them. Nobody is twisting your arm to make use of class options that don't fit your character concept. I have no intention of ever playing an Arcane Trickster, but I'm not going out of my way to lobby that WotC remove that option.

For me, the Order of the Wu Jen and the elemental disciplines are going to allow me to realize a character concept I've been eager to attempt ever since I first...See more
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Mike F June 20, 2017 11:34 pm UTC
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Updates are so supposed to be on here. How will we know when it's been updated?
Customer avatar
Vinicius H June 18, 2017 4:00 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Does this class is suposed to let you spend psi points even if you miss the attack? (that seemed a little diferent from the other class mechanics)
Customer avatar
Joel H June 25, 2017 11:24 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Psionic abilities that require an attack roll, like the bestial claws or the acid touch attack, would expend your psi points whether the attack hits or not.
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Vinicius H June 18, 2017 3:58 pm UTC
PURCHASER
What is the action needed to activate bestial claw, from the bestial form discipline?
Customer avatar
Alister L June 18, 2017 6:53 pm UTC
PURCHASER
The activation of the claws is included in the attack you have to make. Bestial claw is basically just taking an attack action against a creature but the damage of that attack is what you spend the psi points on. The claws only last for that attack so if you take an opportunity attack or something similar you do the damage from the claws.

In short, the whole thing is a single action in which you simultaneously manifest claws and attack.
Customer avatar
Kyle W June 15, 2017 2:37 am UTC
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So I've played the Mystic a few times since this version was released a few months ago. My basic takeaway is that if you stick to the disciplines from your order or you create a character to be fun based on a theme, it will probably be balanced. However, it's really easy for it to be unbalanced. For example:

My level 6 human immortal had 18 Con, 16 Dex, and 16 Int. (I used point buy for the initial scores to get 3 16s.) The only disciplines I needed were iron durability, psychic assault, and psionic restoration. Basically I was invincible, guaranteed a strong hit for each attack, and could heal should I somehow get hurt. I soloed a few encounters that were supposed to be for the whole party. As long as this combination can exist, the class will be OP as far as i'm concerned.

*Wall of Text Incoming*

Now that that's out of the way, I have a few suggestions (changes/buffs/nerfs) that I think would help improve the class as a whole.:
*Mystics don't need light armor proficiency....See more
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Joseph D June 17, 2017 2:20 pm UTC
PURCHASER
You said that you "soloed a few encounters that were supposed to be for the whole party." Could you give a few more details on that please? Also, did you have any feats with your level 6 human immortal?
Customer avatar
Troy R July 03, 2017 11:49 pm UTC
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A lot of the points you brought up are good, but since I am bored at work today, my response to you is this:

1.) I think its worth noting that not all Mystics are going to take Mastery of Force, so they need an armor proficiency at least or else they are essentially a spellcaster without Mage Armor. This is especially true for the Order of the Immortals or Soul Knife.
2.) Psionic Talents - Some are pretty interesting to be honest. Blind Spot is perfect for a Rogue-like character and Mind-Meld is a good and cheap version of a lot of the more 'psi corps' disciplines. But others are useless, like Blade Meld.
3.) So many of the disciplines need to be reworked for balance, and probably some just completely removed. There is far too much decision paralysis when it comes to building and even using your character.
4.) Psi Points progress the same way as the spellcasting points cited in the PHB and DMG. They don't need to be reworked because they scale the same way that spells would. A...See more
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Jonah P June 15, 2017 12:02 am UTC
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As I haven't gotten the chance to properly play the class I will not be issuing a full review. However, I feel that there is a concern that needs to brought up just from reading the document: The Soulknife.

Soulknives/Mindblades are my favorite class usually, but their level one abilities appear to be at odds with one another. First they're given proficiency in medium armor, and weapons. Which made me think they might be a bit more strength focused, and their titular soul knife is mechanically the same as the pact weapon feature of the Warlock class. Not so. Their soul knife is a finesse weapon that is completely different from any of the martial weapons listed in the player's handbook. Immediately this focuses all soulknives to focus on dexterity, which then calls in to question why they get extra armor proficiencies in the first place.

Not only do these two abilities go against one another, they force all soulknives to be dexterity based assassins. I propose giving soulknives their...See more
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Esteban R June 13, 2017 4:18 am UTC
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I'm really the only one seeing the five-stars rank without reviews as fakes? There are a LOT of issues with the mystic. Even if you liked it that much, you would say what you liked. Notice that the exact opposite is true: most 1 and 2 stars ranks come with a review, but only 2 of the seven 5 stars have anything resembling one. There isn't even a name on the people ranking them as good. I don't really dig on this type of cheap shots to "improve" the overal rating of the file. Come on, people, its supossed to be flawed!
Customer avatar
Juan R June 14, 2017 8:46 pm UTC
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That's completely false. I rated it a 5/5 because I find that as a UA, it is along the right path of what I want out of the Mystic.

I personally do not find the Mystic as broken as everyone decries. Some disciplines are overtuned (e.g. Beastial Form, Mastery of Force, and about 3 others), but that's only comparatively. It's like comparing a druid to a fighter. While both are functional and useful, one is much better suited to certain situations. Additionally, if either is powergame'd/minmax'd, they can destabilize the party by invading other niches.

The largest issue I see is that some of the focuses are too strong and that some of the orders do not stack up against others.
While Order of the Nomad is king, Order of the Awakened in the same boat as the Mastermind Rogue archetype as being highly dependent on DM fait.

That said, it's mainly an issue of tuning instead of balance. Limiting the switching of focuses to something reasonable but costly in combat would be...See more
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Red W June 15, 2017 4:54 pm UTC
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Its certainly better than 3rd edition psionic classes, which was much more like wizard/sorcerer (especially 3.5, where about half powers was completely copy-paste of spells of exactly the same name).
As of issues. It 5th edition. There is insane amount of issues even in core rule books.
Its clear that D&D division of WotC is not the same anymore, they just don't have proper resources to make 5th edition as polished as 3rd edition was (nor publish new books it seems).
You either accept 5th edition with it's never-ending-beta stage (effectively as it is, not officially), and adjust any glitches in rules yourself. Or not, and play something else :P
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Alister L June 17, 2017 3:42 pm UTC
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I said this in the beginning of my review for the Mystic but I'd like to reiterate it in the discussion section, especially since you brought it up. NEVER GIVE PLAYTEST A 5/5 REVIEW!

Even if you don't believe something is broken, the highest you should ever give it is a 4/5. Giving something 5/5 stars tells WoC that this thing is perfect and from the fact that you pointed some flaws shows that it is far from perfect and that it obviously did not deserve a 5-star review. I'm not at all trying to say that you should hate the Mystic and give it a 1-star review but I am saying that, while critical reviews are helpful, the most helpful kind of review is when someone like you points out both the good and bad. Your type of review is AMAZING but your rating is, again, telling the developers of the playtest that no changes are necessary. Good playtest will never come if everyone is always critiquing the ever living XXX out of something. It comes from being able to see both good and bad in everything and compromising....See more
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Colin P June 12, 2017 5:00 pm UTC
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I highly suspect they are classifying psionics as a form of "magic" so they don't have to go tearing back through the Monster Manual and other core sources to insert psionics as a distinct form of abilities back into the mix. Resistances, abilities, and a number of other things would have to be revisited to implement it along the lines of "mutant-" or "Jedi-" like abilities. If it's just another form of "magic", very little revision to existing rules and sources needs to be done.
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Esteban R June 12, 2017 9:38 pm UTC
PURCHASER
Yet it isn't too difficult to do this. Many of the creatures resistant to magic are also resistant to psychic damage (such as the golems), and charmed condition. The perfect way to do this is relying on the resistance to specific damage and immunity to certain conditions. You would have a very different approach to the psionics as to magic, and it isn't as unbalanced as it seems. You could also give less power to psionics, so they overall have lesser damaga, although their damage is better against the magic resistant creatures. Funny thing, you can even say in the disciplines description which creatures are immune to it. Or cause a backlash to the psionic character (such as trying to read an Aberration's mind: Sanity/Wisdom check or gaining a temporal madness AND psychic damage). It's a bit of fine tunning, but you don't have to "rehash" all previous work. You only have to be modular with psionics, and consider case by case each new power. Telekinetics, EG, could be a lot better against certain creatures,...See more
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Red W June 15, 2017 5:02 pm UTC
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It's really complicated. But in short - yes. Psionics is unique version of magic. Or arcana. A way to alter the reality.
Its still differences. For once there is no power-speech (aka verbal component) involved, which is essential component for classic magic.
Yet, at least as 3rd edition rules stated: Magic does affects psionics, and psionics does affect magic. Dispell magic or antimagic field will be just as effective against any psionics effects. And even though process producing magic and psionic effects is different, results are similar. So yes, if you have fire resistance it will be same effective against fire spells and fire disciplines. Same as if you immune to be charmed, and so on.
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Donnie P June 11, 2017 3:15 am UTC
Respectfully, I am disappointed. Psionics have always been my favorite since it was first revealed. I was really hoping that like earlier iterations, the mystic would be very unique. I really don't want to see it become another Wizard / Warlock / Sorcerer. I would like to see a focus on the mind and powers related. Telekinesis, Telepathy, Precognition, Mind over Matter (Healing & damage resiliance), Levitation, Atomic Manipulation, Mind Control, etc. The Mystic should be the fantasy flavor of Jedi, Sith, Psylocke, Professor X, Scanners, all of the best of the "mind" oriented heroes and outlaws of fiction. Where a Wizard would hurl magic missiles, a Warlock would fling Eldritch Bolts... the Mystic should be using a telekinetic attacks - and it should have nothing to do with "magic."
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Joel H June 29, 2017 7:43 pm UTC
PURCHASER
I agree that the potential for telekinetic attacks could be expanded more. As is, you've got Mind Slam, Psychic Hammer, and Mastery of Force. And Mastery of Force seems a bit lacking in the damage potential (let us throw objects and deal damage with a higher DC 10 dex save, for starters) and exceptionally expensive for what it does.

That said, I feel like everything you listed that you'd like to see the Mystic focused on can be accomplished with the Mystic that's been presented. Telekinesis, telepathy, mind control, memory alteration, healing and resilience, levitation (even flight), mind over body, etc. are all possible avenues a Mystic can pursue.
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Product Information
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Pages
28
File Size:
0.41 MB
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on May 31, 2017.